UGANDA, Mayuge | Real Muloodi News | Nine UMEME employees were rescued by Busoga East police from a mob that had surrounded their operational vehicles in Iwumba Village in Buwaya Sub County in Mayuge District.
The UMEME team was on a mission to disconnect illegal power lines when residents demanded an explanation for their actions.
The angry residents, who had illegally tapped power from neighbouring poles, threatened to attack the UMEME officials if they did not return the disconnected wires.
According to Moses Byakika, a resident in the area, the distribution of free electricity meters in their community was not affected due to unclear circumstances. This, coupled with the fact that planned beneficiaries were never briefed about the setbacks, led to some residents engaging in illegal power connections with the help of former UMEME employees commonly referred to as “kamyufus.”
Instead of disconnecting all the wires, residents suggested that UMEME officials should have gathered intelligence information from the communities and reached out to only those with illegal power connections.
Yusuf Mutalemwa, a resident in the area, suggested that UMEME operatives should always engage police authorities before conducting such operations to minimise chaotic scenes and create harmony and satisfaction within the different areas of operation.
UMEME officials declined to comment on the matter, but the Mayuge District Police Commander, Bashir Siriba, confirmed that the teams were free from harm, and sanity had been restored in the area to allow normal business.
Siriba said that electricity wires had been returned to the affected individuals, and harmonious meetings shall be conducted between UMEME teams, local leaders, and communities to foster sanity during future related operations.
UMEME has been working to improve the country’s power supply and reduce power theft, and these are some of the challenges Uganda’s main electricity distribution company is tackling including illegal power connections, which have been on the rise due to high tariffs and limited access to electricity in rural areas.
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